March 25, 2018

As we continue our studies from "Did Jesus Just Happen", I want to discuss a few points on the Growth of Jesus as a Child.

The Bible is reticent with reference to the childhood years of Jesus. There is a period of about thirty years concerning which have only one brief incident and a summary statement. Many attempts have been made to fill in these years with stories which are the products of man's imagination and fancy. A recent work of a well known author "He grew in Wisdom by John Pratt Whitman) attempts to fill in these years with many interesting stories of Jesus's boyhood days. One chapter tells of Jesus as a lad going with His father to the Lake of Galilee for logs. While there He meets some other boys who invite Him to go fishing with them. After several hours of fruitless fishing, they pull up anchor and start rowing for the shore. On the way they pass a pole to which is tied to a net containing fish belonging to a man named Samuel. One of the boys steals six fish from the net without the knowledge of Jesus. But soon, Jesus discovers what has been done and His heart is deeply troubled. His conscience would let Him have no rest until He had gone to Samuel confessing the guilt (though He Himself was not guilty of actually taking the fish) and offering to pay for the missing fish. The delay had caused Him to miss His father and, therefore, He had to walk home alone. Another chapter tells of Jesus' being robbed by the prodigal son on the Nazareth road. Many other stories are given, for which the author claims to have some basis in the references found in the Gospel records.

These stories are most interesting and touching, but their credibility is questionable. If the Lord considered it necessary, He would have given to us more information concerning this period. We do have a brief summary of these years which is quite comprehensive. In the Gospel of Luke the second chapter we are told that "Jesus increases in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." The imperfect tense of the verb here suggest the idea that Jesus kept on going forward or kept on increasing continuously. We do not need all of the particular incidents of His childhood. This statement tells us all we need to know. It tells us that Jesus had continuous, natural, harmonious and balanced growth spread out over thirty years.

The important thing is that Jesus did grow. Growth is essential to life at its best. It is natural or the natural expression of life. As Jesus grew, so must we. We find our best examples in the life of Jesus. His growth is ideal and we are to pattern our growth after His. Not only so, but we are also to direct the growth of our children according to this same pattern.

Continues next week on the Growth of Jesus.

Wayne McDoanld, Pastor
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